Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Call to Prayer for Sudan

A time of critical importance is approaching in the life of the Sudanese nation, the Episcopal Church of Sudan, and our companions in the Diocese of Lui. The Companion Diocese Relationship Committee is calling the Diocese of Missouri to three days of prayer (April 11-13) in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Sudan.


When the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) was signed in January 2005, it marked the end of 50 years of nearly-constant civil war between the Khartoum-based government in northern Sudan and the Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement in the south.

Besides ending the civil war, the CPA set out mechanisms to develop democratic governance through elections in April 2010, establish a firm boundary between northern and southern Sudan, share oil revenues equitably, and set a timetable by which southern Sudan would have a referendum in January 2011 on its independence.

For quick reference, you may want to consult the Wikipedia articles on the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, the 2010 elections, and the 2011 independence referendum.

As discussed recently at LuiNotes, implementation of the CPA to date has not inspired confidence among our partners in Lui.

I remember when I was in Lui in early 2006, and people were so optimistic about southern Sudanese governance. I snapped this shot of one priest's t-shirt, which had the flag of southern Sudan on it.

Current Situation

The April 11-13 elections are of crucial importance, as the people of Sudan are supposed to elect a president and members of parliament. Our partners in Lui fear the election will be neither free nor fair. There is suspicion that the census conducted over the past couple of years has not been valid. There is fear that war could erupt in the aftermath of the elections, regardless of the outcome, even before the potentially tumultuous January 2011 referendum regarding independence for southern Sudan.

Prayer Vigil

Missouri’s Companion Diocese Relationship Committee is calling for a prayer vigil during the time of the election – from April 11 (Sunday) through April 13 (Tuesday). Because Lui is 8 hours ahead of Missouri, this translates to 4:00 p.m. on April 10 (Saturday) to 4:00 p.m. on April 13 (Tuesday).

The first visitors from Missouri traveled to Lui in 2003, while the civil war was still active. The constant refrain of the Moru people then was: “We thought you had forgotten us, but now you have come.” That has been the constant refrain through the establishment of the covenant between Lui and Missouri in 2006 until the present day.

Now, our friends in Lui are asking our prayers as they enter this anxious time in the life of their nation.

Let us pray:
  • for free and fair elections in Sudan
  • for peace in the aftermath of the elections
  • for the safety of our Episcopalian friends in the Diocese of Lui
As we pray, let us remember that the Episcopal Church of Sudan comprises the entire nation of Sudan – not just those in southern Sudan, but also those Episcopalians living in the Muslim-dominated states in northern Sudan. Let us remember all the other Christians in Sudan.

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